The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is proud to present the 2016 Community College Impact Award to the City of Salem, recognizing its pioneering support of the Community College Access Program (CCAP). The award will be presented April 6 at the Educational Foundation’s Annual Awards Ceremony.

One of the highest honors the College can bestow, the Community College Impact Award serves to recognize significant philanthropic and community support by individuals, corporations or organizations that will provide perpetuating benefits for Virginia Western, its students and the region at large.

In 2008, the City of Salem was the first Roanoke Valley locality to embrace the vision for a scholarship program that would provide up to two years of college, tuition-free. Guided by then-City Manager Forest Jones, the City rallied private and public support for sending their high school graduates to Virginia Western.  Salem leaders understood the impact that this pledge could make on generations to come. As founding partners of CCAP, they strived to build an educated and well-trained workforce, and they hoped to provide an incentive for young people to remain in the area.

Their commitment, in turn, set an example and paved the way for the expansion of CCAP throughout Virginia Western’s service region. From that initial Salem pilot program in Fall 2008, CCAP has now grown to serve all six of the region’s localities. As of the 2015-16 academic year, 1,521 students have participated from the Roanoke Valley; of those, 351 are Salem High School graduates.

Today, Salem’s CCAP program benefits from continued strong support by Salem City Council, City Manager Kevin Boggess, Mayor Randy Foley and the entire administration, matched by the ongoing support of numerous businesses and individuals.

Salem City Schools, represented by Superintendent Dr. Alan Seibert, is an integral and instrumental program partner, ensuring students receive the opportunity to apply for and participate in CCAP.

“We owe a great deal to the City of Salem,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College. “They invested in their students and continue to provide leadership for CCAP.”

For more information about CCAP, contact Scholarship and CCAP Coordinator Carolyn Payne at cpayne@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6371. Applications for the 2017-18 academic year will be accepted starting in January 2017.